The Color Purple: Understand Its Hidden Meaning for Art & Design

oil painting hummingbird and purple vaseResearch shows that color can play a major role in our overall state of well-being and creativity. The colors we surround ourselves with on a daily basis influence the way we feel and relax.

Over the few months we have been learning about each primary and secondary color and its hidden meaning. This week is purple…

Interestingly enough, the symbolism of color is not universal, but cultural. Generally, the more rare the colored pigment, the higher value of its meaning.  Tyrian purple, the original purple is the color of a dye made from a mollusc. Purple became a symbol of royalty because only the very wealthy could afford it.

Purple is a secondary color. A secondary is made by mixing the primaries together…



PURPLE: A combination of red and blue, purple is a balanced color. There is a disagreement over exactly which shades are truly purple. The discrepancy is because of people’s varying eye sensitivity to red and blue.

Regal and dignified, purple is to be used with discretion. Pale shades of purple and lavenders are restful and serene, but the darker shades make it difficult to focus. Lavenders signify refined things of life, creative, witty and civilized.

However, purples can be tiring on the eyes and cause a sense of frustration, even sexual frustration. Gloom and sad feelings can be portrayed by using purples in paintings.

But, purples can make an excellent foil for works of art. Purple is the color of good judgment. It is the color of people seeking spiritual fulfillment. It is said if you surround yourself with purple you will have peace of mind. Therefore, purple is a good color to use in meditation. The red in violet offers a grounding effect.

Purple is also used to symbolize wisdom, magic and mystery – think of the legendary wizard, Merlin who is depicted wearing a purple robe.


Please read Use the Hidden Meaning of Color for Your Art for even more information on color.Thanks Wikipedia helping me learn a bit more about purple!

You might like to learn more about >  Green, and Blue, and Red and Yellow! Thanks, ~Lori!

2012-01-03T17:12:48+00:00 September 16th, 2010|Fine Art Tips, General, How To Paint, Draw & More|10 Comments


  1. Krasi September 16, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Great article Lori 🙂 I didn’t know much of these things. Thank you!

    • Lori McNee September 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

      The meaning of color has been a fascinating subject and I hope it helps others! Many thanks 🙂 Lori

  2. craft show listings September 19, 2010 at 1:21 am

    I really love purple. The line… “Purple is also used to symbolize wisdom, magic and mystery” – i like it. I find purple very attractive. A lot of people admire that color. Well, I can’t blame them, purple is such a cool color and implies a lot of meaning to one’s life.

    • Lori McNee September 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      I agree with you about purple! I love it to, it seems to add a bit of elegance to what ever it’s use. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

  3. Michael September 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

    My wife’s favorite color is Purple. I find myself paying more attention to Purple, and buying things just because she will notice.

    • Lori McNee September 23, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      What a nice husband! Purple is a favorite color of a lot of women…
      Thanks for sharing, Lori 🙂

  4. Wordpress Themes September 24, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Good post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you seeking your information.

  5. sarbpreet October 28, 2010 at 2:41 am

    i love d color purple… n tis meaning z absolutely true..n i love d line “Lavenders signify refined things of life, creative, witty and civilized.”

    • Lori McNee October 28, 2010 at 11:34 am

      I like the idea of purple being ‘civilized’…thanks for that!
      Lori 🙂

  6. bench craft company scam December 7, 2010 at 1:41 am

    But the history of paint color is still cool

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